Svakom Echo

September 5th, 2014

Echo
$110 from Svakom

Who loves to discover and try toys from new companies? This reviewer! And the newest company on my radar is Svakom, an American company with a European office. The company makes toys that are, at first glance, similar to Lelo. However, Svakom has some original designs that really make this brand worth looking at a second time… and I totally plan to write about those toys. For this post, however, I’ll focus on the Echo.

Echo is a tiny clitoral vibrator that is remarkably similar to Lelo’s Lily. Lily was one of those toys that I lusted over for months, but I was rather disappointed by the time I actually got to try it.

In fact, Echo even comes in similar shades, and buttons placed on the underside of the toy is one of the issues Echo shares with Lily that have made this experience more lackluster than I had hoped for.

Echo gentle curves so cup your pubic mound. The under side has less of a nub than Siri or the Layaspot, however, so I found myself having to press it against myself with some force to get the pressure and contact I enjoy. This makes it less than luxurious and more of a workout. It might work better during missionary sex where your bodies press it against you, but I haven’t been able to try it.

Because the buttons are on the underside, you need to lift it up or completely remove the clit to change the settings. I’m more apt to do the latter because it’s easier, but it also means you’re interrupting stimulation.

There are two buttons to control the toy, but they run vertically along the toy rather than Lily’s horizontal buttons.  Echo is much more narrow, too. This doesn’t make it any better – or worse. I’d prefer if it had a bigger nub rather than a more narrow body.

One button turns on the button. It’s not labeled, but it’s in the upper position. The lower button cycles through several steady vibration modes when you press it once. A quick double-click moves through two modes each of pulsation and escalation. Pressing for several seconds turns off the vibrator. Obviously, one button has a single function while the other button bears responsibility for all other functions. And the buttons are swapped with their roles from what you’re normally expect.

This wouldn’t be a huge issue if I loved the vibes, but I don’t. Echo has shallow vibes that aren’t super strong. I can get off with a lot  of effort,  but I’m not sure it’s worth it. According to the vibe, you’ll get 5 hours of use out of a single 1-hour charge. I haven’t used it that long to test, however. It’s fairly quiet, so you needn’t worry about noise.

I do like the finish, which is silky smooth and soft,  made of ABS plastic. It’s not silicone, but it’s one of the safer materials.

There is an open charging port on the end, so I’d be careful of that when washing, and this one isn’t waterproof so don’t take it in the shower or bath.

Echo retails for $110. that’s well over the price of some similar toys, like the Siri, which I am more likely to recommend. However, my other experiences with Svakom products have been pretty awesome so stay tuned!

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Sex Store Profiles: OJT Sex Toys

September 4th, 2014

With the recent closing of a popular affiliate program that catered yo my Canadian readers, I am on the lookout for a new Canadian superstore to fill the void. I’m certainly not settled on any one Canadian sex toy store — feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or on Twitter — but one of the sites I’ve recently discovered is OJT Sex Toys.

Selection is always one of the things that I check out when looking for a new store/affiliate program. Do they have toys I would recommend to my readers in addition to those that I want to try? OJT Sex Toyscarries some of my favorites, including:

  • Lelo Siri
  • Layaspot
  • Stronic Eins
  • Big Boss G4
  • Fun Factory Yooo — unavailable from most other retailers because it’s been discontinued
  • Mona 2
  • Lelo Siri

Most popular brands are available; although some boutique brands aren’t carried. I’d love to see Vixen dildos, for example.

I also like to take a look at price. One of the things this retailer does is to provide daily deals. For example, you can purchase Sports Cuffs for $4.99 at the time of writing this post. You’ll also get free shipping on orders over $49, which is pretty standard.

The site has a low price guarantee, too. According to the site, they’ll match any price minus 5% from an authorized Canadian retailer, which can certainly help you save money.

Like other retailers,  this one offers a rewards program. Every dollar you spend earns you a point, and you can eventually trade those points in for discounts on future orders. This is a good deal if you’re a frequent shopper. Of course, there’s a wishlist option, too, if there are simply too many items for you to decide on.

I would like to see a few improvements to the site, however.  Aside from a few more brands, I’d love to see a more transparent security policy that explains exactly how safe the site is and what measures they use to protect out sensitive information.

The staff is pretty active about sales and events on Twitter, but their Facebook looks a little more lonely. I know how difficult it can be to attract and maintain followers for an adult Facebook page, especially when someone of my peers have had theirs deleted, but it is also a good marketing strategy to at least try.

So have you ever shopped at OJT sex toys? Would you in the future? Let me know!

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Labor Day Sales

September 1st, 2014

It’s a rainy Labor Day. Not so good for grillin’ out. Just fine for staying inside and playing, whether you’re alone or not. Perhaps shopping. Lucky thing I’ve compiled this handy list of Labor Day Sales.

I’ll add a couple more sales over the course of the day, so keep your eyes open!

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Fetish Fantasy Gold Ben-Wa Balls

August 18th, 2014

As I sit here writing this, I am awaiting one heavy, golden ball to reintroduce itself to gravity and make its way down my vaginal canal so I can finish this review and go to sleep.

I am not afraid that this ball is lost forever. I have a cervix. I know that there is an end to my vagina. I am not worried. I am simply annoyed. Other people might be worried, however. They may not understand how the the female anatomy works or, perhaps.

In my case, I struggled to push the small ben wa balls past my pubic bone, pinching myself with my fingernails as I did. Yes, this isn’t the type of item I would review at this stage in my life, but the folks at Pipedream sent me a pair to try, so I had to give them a fair shake.. roll?

At the end of this whole experience, I sit here with one ball nestled against my cervix, right where my short fingers can’t reach them. Perhaps someone else could, but I have to wait for gravity. This brings up one of the issues of classic ben wa balls: usability. Without a retrieval cord, it can be difficult to remove them, and I’m sure the variances in female anatomy make this more true for some women.

But let’s head back to the begining, the point during which I was inflicting pain upon myself in the name of a review. These ben wall balls are much smaller than any of those that most people really like. I’m talking about the Luna Beads or Smartballs. I like the K-balls, all of which are 4 or so times larger. Most of them also have some sort of texture or ridges, which helps keep them inserted in addition to the size.

With a sleek exterior, it was hard enough to get the ben wa balls inserted to stay in place. They kept wanting to slip back down past my pubic bone, which had me walking like a penguin. Not so great for daily use. I recall one of my first set of ben wa balls, which were similarly sized and white like pearls. They stayed in the first third of my vagina and kept irritating my urethra.

I opted to forego standing and returned to jerking off and pausing for a few kegel exercises. On my back, I could barely feel the balls inserted, and that must have been when they rolled back toward my cervix, where one still sits.

Since I can’t feel them, it doesn’t remind me to do kegels, and I’m not convinced that simply having them in is going to improve my muscles; although, I was more than impressed when my finger was inserted to push them into place and I clenched my PC muscles. Of course, the size of large balls makes them easier to feel, and most manufacturers argue that internal balls, which are probably like these ben wa balls, keep your muscles working passively.

I wanted to see if the ben wa balls made any difference during orgasm. They seemed to enhance them a bit, but orgasm always feels better with something or someone inserted.

These ben was balls are simply listed as “made of metal,” and they have the weight of them. The product description lists them at 2 ounces, with a diameter of .75 inches. They’re actually more like 1/2″ in diameter.

The gold ones, which I received, don’t seem to be available from every retailer. You can but them at my affiliate store here. At just $12, they’re cheaper than the alternatives, but they lack a storage option. This seems to be something pretty necessary for an item that can literally roll away. They come in a box with a plastic insert that would work for storage but is far from ideal.

And I guess that’s how I feel about these as a whole.

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And the law.. wins..?

August 16th, 2014

Last year, my city began cracking down on prostitution, child porn and other “related” offenses. In the mainstream media, these sort of things get lumped together. As a person who is capable of critical thinking, I have to wonder if this should be the case.

This focus on sex crimes meant a change of some laws, including newly-proposed fines for people caught providing sex for money or soliciting sex workers.  Public humiliation in the form of releasing names and photos has also been named as one of the police department’s strategies to fix sex “crimes.”

Intellectually, I understand why the police want to shame people into obeying laws, but I just cannot put my full support behind illegalization of sex work. And I don’t think a person’s name or reputation needs be thrown under the bus for soliciting a sex worker when there are far more serious crimes — crimes that actually hurt people — to be investigating and trying.

In a recent newspaper article, the author discussed a man recently arrested. He had been a school teacher. Before his name had even been made public, he resigned. His career was over, of course. But I can’t help but feel like this is an extreme that a person shouldn’t have to take. After all, he will be fined without having to serve any jail time. Either it’s serious enough for jail time or it’s not — and their names don’t need to be made public.

Perhaps I come at this from a personal point of view. When this effort began last year, the police conducted an online sting. They posed as sex workers and even children/teenagers online to lure people out. Several people did proposition minors and went to meet with them. I have nothing wrong with this sort of sting. One of the men who simply arranged to meet an of-age sex worker. Upon arriving, he was instead met by the police who ushered him to the police station where he stayed overnight because it was a late Friday.

This man was a good friend’s ex/on-again off-again/it’s complicated friends with benefits. Today, he’s been dead for almost a year. He took his life because no only did the police release his name, but a bang-up job by the local media splashed his name among those who solicited a minor for sex. This was not the case, but reports weren’t amended until after his passing.

Despite the fact that the media and police are immediately releasing names without fact checking, this is obviously still enough of  a problem that the police are performing major stings almost a year later. Humiliation isn’t a deterrent for people, even if they are otherwise upstanding citizens. According to the police, the type of people who are soliciting sex workers are from all walks of life. These are people who are willing to pay for sex. Nothing more or less.

As a woman, I can think of many worse ways to pay bills. I would rather live in a place where my rights as a human being are protected if I am a sex worker, rather than my name slandered and rights ignored simply because of my line of work. But I don’t live in a place like that because the world is still so far from that. =/

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Lip Products for Softer Skin and Better Oral

August 14th, 2014

The lovely folks at Good Vibes were kind enough to send over a tin of Smooch Me Lip Lube with my last order. This it not the first time I’ve been able to try a product like that if you recall my review of Babegloss, a liquid lip gloss and lube intended to make your lips softer, tastier and wetter. Babeland has since discontinued the product, which is a shame. I like the taste and the design. I only wish I had used it more. I still have plenty left!

Good Vibe’s take as such a product is a little more, dare I say, generic? It comes in a tin like any homemade lip gloss. Now, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but I do prefer a container that allows me to apply without getting my fingers dirty. So, I sort of just wind up sticking my lips in the tin. It’s weird, I know. Maybe I’m just being lazy.

Anyway, this gloss/lube is available in several flavors, including mint and cinnamon. I got Cherry Vanilla. It’s probably the only scent I would come to close to liking — and I do like it.  The gloss is flavored as well as scented; although it’s more artificial flavor than anything else. I wouldn’t expect much more from a product like this. The flavor can help during oral, but Smooch Me is white so it’s not making your pout look anything other than shiny.

The texture also aids in this as an oral tool. It’s softer than many lip balms in a tin, so it definitely feels more like lube. However, it’s still got the slightly-waxy balm feel. Perhaps a little less so given how how soft it is. I really like the texture and find myself reaching for it simply to moisturize my lips. But the softness makes it easier to reapply if you’re actually using it as lube and need a little more.

The final product I’d like to discuss is PinkCherry’s lip balm. You can buy it because you love the company or maybe you’ll just throw it in your cart because you’re angling for free shipping. PinkCherry’s lip balm comes in a standard-sized tin. It looks a lot like the option from Good Vibes — but smaller. It’s white, so it’s not going to tint your lips. And, yes, it’s cherry scented. Although, it’s even more artificial than the other products I’ve discussed, and there’s a weird after taste that I don’t particularly like. This balm is scented but not flavored.

While Smooch Me is soft and easy to apply, PinkCherry’s lip balm simply isn’t. It’s hard. You either have to dig into the pot with a nail or give it a pretty fierce rub to get it to melt a little. PinkCherry definitely missed the mark here, and I think this simply makes the lip balm seem pretty cheap. I mean, at only $1, it’s not going to change the world, but it’s not doing the brand any favors. Smooch Me costs seven times as much, but you get more of a better product.

To be quite frank, PinkCherry’s balm will probably go into the garbage. Or maybe I’ll do some “science” experiments with a lighter. Because who doesn’t love open flames?!

If you’re looking for a lip product that’s as versatile as these things can be, Smooch Me is your best option. However, you might simply want to opp for flavored lube, instead.

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Fun Factory Flora

August 10th, 2014

A couple years ago, fun Factory released a line or two or smaller toys. These included Bubbles and the Mini line, of which  I reviewed the Ocean. They all boasted the fine craftsmanship of Fun Factory in addition to the company’s bright colors, which we all know and love.

The company has come out with a new bunch of products after the Stronic Eins, and they use the same control setup. I think Fun Factory simply wanted to created some small vibes that use the same control panel type. The company does it periodically. I’ve seen a number of button setups for Fun Factory toys.  Remember when FF toys used that unique dial? Yeaaa. They’ve come a long way since then. The original Paul and Paulina wasn’t any better, either.

For a while, the company was creating toys with three buttons. Two were the typically to control the toy while the last worked as a boost, one of the things Fun Factory is known for. However, buttons on the Big Boss and Yooo were much harder to push than they should have been, especially when you have to press two at a time. Fun Factory’s Flora uses the same 3-button setup, but they’re smooth — almost beveled looking — and much easier to push. The control panel no longer lights up when you touch it, which I liked but seemed not to work consistently.

However, a two-button setup would’ve been fine. The third button, which features the Fun Factory logo, simply acts as a master power switch. If you touch one of the other buttons while the toy is off, the third one lights up to let you know to press it. Kind of useless. I also think the + and – buttons should be switched so the – button is toward the bottom of the toy.  In fact, they’re printed upside down. The thought is that you’ll look down and it will be right-side-up, but I can’t even see toys because of my short arms, and most toys use the other arrangement.

Flora starts at the last setting you had it on. There are a number of steady vibrating levels. The lowest is the deepest, and the highest definitely tickles my hand uncomfortably. Fun Factory has put better motors in other toys. If you keep pressing the + button, it changes modes.

  • Up and down escalation
  • Fast up/down escalation
  • Faster escalation
  • Fast pulsation
  • Low vibe/Fast pulse
  • Varied pulsation

The modes are different, which makes them interesting especially the last setting. The last one is especially different, but the escalation is redundant.

It seems a little loud — louder than the Siri, for example — for the power output.

Like the Stronic, this one uses a two-contact magnetic charger. The contact points are at the end of the base, which is rounded. I find this to be awkward. If the Flora is sitting on a table, it is tricky to line up the magnet and cable, which will have to bend to stay in position. This makes it waterproof, but I don’t personally require this.

My pink Flora reminds me an awful lot of the Fun Factory Curve. It collects lint, attracts hungry cats and needs a little bit of lube to feel slick.

My biggest peeve with this vibe might simply be that I’m not sure what it’s intended for. With just four inches to insert and a diameter of just over 1 inch, it feels far too small inserted. But it doesn’t need to be this size or generally phallic for external stimulation. I can’t tell if Flora is a stupidly giant pocket rocket or a tiny g-spot vibe. It did neither thing well for me. I do think the ridged design is fun and would be great if this were larger.

At $90, I can name a number of rechargeable internal and clitoral vibes that would be a better deal. The Laya Spot is a better option if you don’t need rechargeable or super strength. We Vibe’s Tango is a much better clitoral vibe. The Lovelife Cuddle is a better g-spot vibe that costs less than $70, too.

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Two Steps Back

August 6th, 2014

I find it difficult to be the person I want to be when it comes to love. While I can be a good worker, friend, sister, daughter, advice giver and supporter, the person I am when it comes to love is less than. Less than what? Less than the person I want to be, I guess.

When I was with my ex-husband, reason and logic went out the window as we ushered in screaming, choking, door slamming, running out of the house, throwing our rings at each other as we threatened divorce fights. It got better, it did. Had we stayed together, I am sure we would have eventually gotten to a healthy place. I really do believe that. But in the middle of things, the intensity of the emotion I felt overtook the reasonable part of me.

I like to think that I’ve progressed since my divorce. Even my interactions with my friends are better. I feel less frustrated, stuck, drowning and angry as a whole. That certainly contributes or will contribute to a healthier relationship.

But I guess there is still progress to be made when it comes to not letting my feelings take me over. I don’t want to be one of those people who becomes wholly consumed by whatever relationship or feelings they’re currently experiencing. And yet I do. I hate it, but I do it.

It’s so easy to think about the person you want. And it’s okay when you know they’re thinking of you, when you talk frequently. But I find myself feeling utterly dejected when I develop feelings for someone and they don’t return them, or we can’t speak. I know how much love works like a drug. It’s an addiction — albeit, a lesser one. I realize that speaking to the bartender is akin to a hit, that it gives me a high. And a lack of communication sends me spiraling downward similarly to anyone who isn’t able to get their next hit.

I hate it. I see what’s happening. I know I should do better, but nothing I try to do or think rationally seems to combat it.

Right now? It’s kind of unbearable. I haven’t seen the bartender in 2 months. It’s the longest we’ve gone this year. While things were sweet and awesome, he’s become distant. Logically, he’s busy and flighty. Paranoid-ly, he’s avoiding me or somehow hates me. And not talking to him makes it more difficult not to see him.

Bleh.

I hate talking about this. I hate how I sound whiny. I hate how it’s the same thing every freakin’ time. I know people don’t want to hear about it and, worst of all, I recognize that this misery is because I won’t walk away. So I fully feel as though I have no right to feel any of these things.

But perhaps what is scarier is that this situation — as awkward and painful as it may sometimes be — has reawakened in me the desire to be something other than single the rest of my life. That desire is so strong that it scares me sometimes, and it feels like it directly competes with how I need to think to be happy. Because at the end of the day, there is no guarantee of love or relationships, and I cannot survive simply by convincing myself that those things are somehow achievable. This cannot be my only tenet of faith.

But boy does my heart want it to be.

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HedoVibes Round Up #52

July 28th, 2014

U09WUIfPhoto courtesy of Celaya Smash

Welcome to HedoVibes, a collection of reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of adult product reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out HedoVibes for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. HedoVibes is also accepting photo submissions for each edition.

CONTESTS

DILDOS

VIBRATORS

ANAL TOYS

RINGS & STROKERS

BONDAGE, IMPACT, & FETISH GEAR

EROTIC BOOKS

MISCELLANEOUS

hedo150

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5 Weird Dildos I Totally Want to Try

July 25th, 2014

Yea, okay. Weird is a subjective term, especially when you’ve purchased a tentacle dildo for a friend as a Christmas gift, and you’ve use multiple glass dildos that look like undersea creatures.

1. Cthulhu

Necronomicox makes the “Myths” dildo, which is everyone’s favorite creature from a horror story. This one’s made of silicone while many strange dildos I’d try are made of questionable latex. His tentacle tail is super adorable. You can get customize the dildo in one, two or three colors. Buy it for $125.

The Xeno art dildo from the same company is creepy and looks like it would feel amazing.

2.  The Dragon’s Tongue

Dragon's Tongue from Bad Dragon

Dragon’s Tongue from Bad Dragon

Bad Dragon is well know ’round these parts even though I haven’t had a chance to use any of their toys. The dragon’s tongue caught my eye because of the colors and shape. It just seems like it would give me a good time. The exclusive colors for these toys are The company lets you build your own from 4 sizes and 5 different firmnesses. Plus, you can get a fucking art print of the dragon whose dick this is when you order.

This.is.awesome.

Runners up from Bad Dragon include The Tailstretcher and their tentacle with glow-in-the-dark suckers.

3. Avatar

I didn’t like this movie, but I’d put Alien Dildos’ Avatar dildo inside me. The design is relatively human-esque with interesting texture along the shaft, a large contoured head and balls that I could without but won’t hate on because it’s a freakin’ avatar dildo. Props on the bright blue, right?

I also love the Phallus, which I’d order in metallic purple. Alien Dildos makers all of their toys with either Vac-U-lock or suction cup bases.

In fact, I love all of their designs, but most of them are too big for me.

4. Ghost

Whipsider Rubber works is one of those companies that specialized in awesome toys. This company made the tentacle dildo I bought for a friend. Sadly, I’ve never owned any of their toys myself. Despite the name, dildos like the Ghost are made of silicone. Sold in two colors — tombstone and red velvet, they’re after my own heart — this dildo glows in the dark to depict the ribs and claw hands of a creature that I would hate to see on TV but would fuck for hours.

Runner up: the Jellyfish. Gradient colors. A bulbous “head.” Super texture.

5. Cyborg

Fleshlight was definitely trying to turn heads, for better or worse, with its Freaks lineup. There are matching dildos and masturbators. The details on the deep purple Cyborg dildo are enough to make H.R. Geiger jealous.  It’s the cheapest on this list by far at under $60.

Fleshlight Freaks Cyborg

Fleshlight Freaks Cyborg

The company obviously thought of Avatar when it came to the Alien dildo, which is a marbled blue and wider than it is thick. I actually really want to put it in my mouth.

Honestly, there are some weirder toys, but the ones I want to use please both my sense of aesthetics and sensibility. Dog dick dildos? No thank you. That Obama dildo? It’s soon going to be dated and isn’t very pretty to begin with. Zombie dildos just gross me the fuck out. You cannot screw a zombie. Its dick will fall off, okay? Okay.

So what strange dildos do you have your eye on?

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